As Prime Minister Morrison meets with Pacific leaders in Tuvalu, the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia today said the federal government’s $500 million Pacific climate change and oceans funding package must also be backed up by stronger action on emissions in Australia.
“WWF welcomes the funding. The climate emergency was front and centre at the Pacific Island Leader meeting,” said WWF-Australia CEO, Dermot O’Gorman.
Mr O’Gorman congratulated the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its efforts to make climate change more prominent in Australia’s Pacific Step-up.
“Whilst it shows that our diplomats are listening to Pacific leaders when they say their destiny is at stake, it must also translate to action at home”.
“This Pacific funding must be backed up by serious commitments to emissions reductions in Australia.
“Australia needs to listen to Pacific leaders and get real about reaching net-zero pollution by 2050.
“This means reducing domestic emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and phasing out thermal coal exports by the same year,” he said.
Mr O’Gorman also expressed concern about the source of the $500 million package.
“If reports are true that the Prime Minister’s Pacific funding package is to come from existing aid commitments, then other important poverty reduction programs will miss out,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“Australian aid, which is at its lowest levels in recorded history, can make a real difference to the people most vulnerable to climate change.
"We need to see an overall increase in aid funding. These are our neighbours, and they deserve better,” he said.